SB 225 - This act provides that beginning January 1, 2012, certain circuit and associate circuit judgeships in this state will become nonpartisan offices elected in nonpartisan elections on the primary election day.

The provisions of this act do not apply to elections involving incumbent candidates who were seated before January 1, 2012. These judges may continue to hold office as partisan judges. Judgeships selected pursuant to the nonpartisan court plan in the state constitution are excluded from the provisions involving the nonpartisan elections, but not the provisions requiring the offices to be nonpartisan and prohibiting the judges from certain partisan activities.

In the nonpartisan elections established under this act, the names of each judicial candidate will be included on all ballots, including each political party's primary ballots. Each candidate is to be designated as "nonpartisan."

If no candidate receives a majority vote in the primary election, the two candidates receiving the highest number of votes will be certified to a runoff election held at the next general election. Such candidates will also be designated as "nonpartisan" on general election ballots.

The filing period for judicial candidates begins at 8:00 a.m. on the last Tuesday in February of the election year and ends at 5:00 p.m. on the last Tuesday in March.

No circuit or associate circuit judge or judicial candidate may be publicly affiliated with any political party or participate in any of the political activities enumerated in this act.

This act is similar to SB 757 (2008).


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